Located along the coast of Central California, Santa Barbara is an idyllic community with a plethora of beautiful beaches guaranteed to steal a little piece of your heart. As a matter of fact, our beaches are so magnificent, it’s difficult for we who live here to actually take a vacation anywhere else. Why spend the money on travel and lodging when you can drive in any direction and find a beach that is fun and activity filled, or quiet and serene? We’ve compiled a sampling of the best beaches in Santa Barbara and what makes them so special below; you probably should visit them all, just to make sure we’re doing our jobs right.
Easily accessible, East Beach is THE Santa Barbara beach everyone wants to visit. Spend your day people watching, biking or blading the many paths, playing volleyball or – imagine this novel concept – relaxing on a beach towel under the gorgeous California skies, soaking in the sun as your favorite 80’s music plays in your ears. Arrive early for the parking and stay late for the sunset. A California sunset is a sight not to be missed. Access points are many from downtown and include Carrillo Boulevard, Castillo, Garden and Milpas. The Santa Barbara Arts & Crafts show is held here every Sunday, making this beach a great place to get a memento of your stay.
This family friendly beach is perfect for kayaking, volleyball, and biking or hiking, and is next to the Santa Barbara Harbor. If weather turns bad, the Santa Maritime Museum is a fun place to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon. For those less adventurous folks who prefer clean and chlorinated water to frolic in, Los Banos Pool is really close by. The kids will enjoy the wading pool here and the playground too! Plan your vacation over Independence Day and enjoy the best view of the fireworks show right from West Beach’s sandy shores. The Garden Street exit is the simplest beach access point.
For picturesque views of the coastline, the city itself, and the majestic Santa Ynez Mountains, Shoreline Park is a long, narrow section of coastline that is hands down one of the most scenic beaches we have seen in our lifetime. Hike down the narrow staircase made of wood and discover a secret we don’t share with just everyone: A tidal pool and small private beach area that remains quiet year round. This spot is great for watching dolphins or just sunbathing as you revel in the peace and quiet of your own personal beach! (At least it may feel that way!) It’s not as easy to get here as the others, but if you take the Garden exit until it turns into Cabrillo Boulevard and follow that road for a while, you should be able to find it with little effort.
Visit the Best Beaches in Santa Barbara with Paradise Retreats
We live here, we work here, we love here, and when you spend a vacation in Santa Barbara in one of our luxurious and elegant vacation rental homes, we will be happy to share with you all the insiders’ tips of how to make your vacation here an extraordinary one! There’s no better place on earth to enjoy a beach vacation than right here in Santa Barbara. Isn’t it time you started planning one today?